beach, Captiva, Captiva Island, Estero, Everblades, Florida, food truck, Fort Myers, Fort Myers Brewing Company, Germain Arena, hockey, Miromar Outlets, NARCh, nationals, roller hockey, seashells, travel
I started my morning at Naples Flatbread & Wine Bar at Miromar Outlets. At 1pm, we got our first win against a Japanese team. I stayed around with my gear on and did the skills competition, coming up within 0.2 seconds of the fastest skater award. I’d never done skills before, so it was fun to try with so many friends there. Next, I took off to Captiva Beach. I had stayed up at the rink late the night before to make sure the team dues were paid, exchanging a check for some of the fees, so I was prepared now to pay another bridge toll. When I got to the island, I secured the last parking spot, paid the meter, and set off to another place familiar from 2011.
Unfortunately, it was low tide – although slowly rising – when I got to the beach. This was my favorite beach for strong waves and seashells. Today, there were piles of shells sitting up high on the beach but there wasn’t much wave activity. I swam some and collected shells for awhile, but eventually I headed out to a food truck in Fort Meyers.
The food truck was a part of the Fort Myers Brewing Company’s location. The brewing company itself is tiny and in the back of a sketchy warehouse. When I got there, however, I was greeted by many cars, giant jenga, an active grill, and NASCAR on the TVs inside which was fairly packed with locals. I decided to sample each kind of beer they had and order food. A woman asked if I wanted to join her and her significant other. I pulled up to their high seat and that’s how I met Dan and Cheri. We chatted and became friends on Untappd, talking about beercapades and travel and whatnot. I learned that Dan knew about the tournament because he usually works for the arena for the Everblades. By the time we were done, they had decided they would come watch us take on Colombia that night. We then left for the arena and they did indeed come watch, cheer me on, and then share photos of me over Facebook. (Not to mention, we had an easy win which streamed live from the main arena!)
After the game, we were seeded for the playoffs against the same team the next morning. Coach Frank invited us upstairs where he bought us a round of drinks at the Breakaway Sports Pub. We sat around for awhile before heading home. My friend Shaina said she and some others were going to go to Bar Louie. I really just wanted to hang out on the couch again, but I also wanted to spend time with some of the teammates I don’t usually see. I agreed to follow her there in my shorts and baseball cap. At the bar, they didn’t have my favorite martini, so I got one that was a S’Mores flavor along with a Jack Daniel’s cake for dessert. Everyone was laughing at my choices until they tasted them and didn’t want to stop eating them. After Bar Louie, we went to Blu Sushi. I stayed for a shot of Fireball that some guy bought, but I wasn’t feeling it. I don’t like clubs – I like chatting at bars like I did earlier (probably why Ireland was so appealing to me). Most girls, however, seem to just go to the bar to get guys to buy them drinks. I never see how that’s a good idea. So, yes, I only had a couple drinks and I was ready to go back to sleep. Besides, we have an early game in the morning.